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My American LDS connection

Discussion in 'USA' started by Bob Spiers, Sep 6, 2022.

  1. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    We’ve all heard of the old music hall song about a girl who danced with a man, who danced with a girl who danced with the Prince of Wales to establish a tenuous connection with Royalty. Not to be outdone, here is my own version using the same analogy.

    I know a girl who emigrated to America, there met and married a man who had lived in the same town and knew the Prophet Joseph (aka Joseph Smith Jr) the founder of the church of Latter-Day Saints.

    There is an awful lot of information on the internet about Joseph Smith. A controversial figure in his day, author of the Book of Mormon and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ & Latter-Day Saints. Known as Prophet Joseph he accomplished much in his relatively short lifetime- including running for President – and was fatally shot in 1844 – but his legacy and what he achieved lives on.

    Just 14 years after Joseph Smith’s death he had attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded a religion that now has millions of adherents. He is regarded by Mormons as a Latter Day Prophet.

    There is also a fair amount on Ancestry about the individuals referred to in my brief analogous comment. The girl is Emily Teressa Hodgetts and the man, John Lowder; here are their details.

    Emily Teressa Hodgetts 1841

    Emily was the younger sister of Maria (a direct line relation) and both were born in Worcester, England to wealthy parents - Joseph Hodgettts (1805) & Ann nee Walcroft (1805). She was the 7th eldest from a family of 11 – 6 girls and 5 boys. Their mother and some of the older children were Mormon converts in the UK and attended a LDS church; but not the father.

    Both sisters made it to America on their second try. The first time her mother and other siblings were meant to emigrate as a body, but the father Joseph Hodgetts had other ideas and, on his orders, (and a little bribery) all were removed from the Ship. But in 1856 Emily aged 15 and older sister Maria 17, emigrated alone. However, the mother thought a brother should be with them so with her husband’s agreement brother William Ben (2nd eldest) joined them and arrived a week or so later.

    The mother and other siblings remained in England. Later, hearing their mother was ill and near death, sister Maria returned home to nurse her mother, and never went back to Utah whilst Emily remained.(More of Maria later)

    The brother William Ben rose in the ranks of the LDS Church and the local Militia but became ill with TB and fearing that his sister then 19 would be alone, instigated an introduction to a John Lowder and with Emily’s full consent they married on 25th May 1860. Ben died in August of the same year.

    John Lowder 1835.

    Bon in Illinois, USA – son of Jessie & Zilpha Lowder. His early life was spent living with his parents in Nauvoo, Illinois. Also living in Nauvoo was a man called Joseph Smith, born 1805 in Saron, Vermont. There are tales (some perhaps apocryphal) of how John and Joseph knew each other but suffice to say that as fervent converts to the LDS/Mormon faith, John & Emily both would have known and met him on several occasions.

    John Lowder lived a busy, industrial and adventuresome life. He served as Captain of the Militia and had many run-ins with (as then called) 'Red Indians' and shot one in the leg who he later befriended. He was also for a time a Pony Express rider and engaged in prospecting.

    John and Emily had 9 children (5 boys and 4 girls) and a long-married life together and both they and their children were strong in the LDS faith and well regarded in the community. John reached the age of 81 dying in 1917 but Emily, staggeringly the age of 102, dying 1941, 2 days after her 102nd birthday.

    Maria, the sister who returned to the UK to nurse her mother married a John Richards and became the great x 2 grandmother of an adopted cousin (his mother was adopted by my paternal grandmother). So not technically my own bloodline, but this does not distract from what is a good story or the analogy given at the start.

    I thought the remarkable photo of John & the long-lived Emily would complete the story and is freely available on Ancestry.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 4
  2. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    That's quite a story, Bob - thanks for sharing.

    My own tenuous connection with Royalty is that my mother once met the Queen Mother - in the 1980s at a garden party at Buckingham Palace when she and my step-father were Mayor and Mayoress of Salford. According to my mum, she was a really nice, friendly person, whom my mum had always admired, so I was pleased she finally got to meet her, albeit very briefly.
  3. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    When I was a junior clerk in Birmingham (sort of mid 50's) working in the city centre, I was sent on an errand on the day when the Queen & Prince Philip were making a formal visit to the city, and not being aware of this wondered what the crowds were doing thronging the main thoroughfare. I managed to just (only just) catch sight of the mobile car entourage and the Queen in the Royal Daimler (I was in to cars in those days and am pretty sure it was a Daimler) raising her gloved hand to wave. Perhaps 10 seconds and she had gone as the procession headed towards the Civic Centre. I wouldn't have minded so much but on my return I was asked why I had taken so long.:(
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I've had a pint (or two) in the same pub as the Queen Mother - though not at the same time, unfortunately.
  5. Sue_3

    Sue_3 LostCousins Member

    I was presented with my degree (from King's College, London) by the Queen Mother. It was at the Royal Albert Hall in 1976. My mother was much more excited about it than I was at the time!

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